‘Lord of the Rings’ Season 1 Will Cost Amazon $500 Million in Plans for ‘Largest Series Ever’

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I maintain there will never be a true successor to Game of Thrones, a series that drew tens of millions of viewers together at once. If I must give a series a puncher’s chance though, it would be Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings.

According to Collider, Amazon will spend a record $500 million on just the first season of Lord of the Rings. This report, which has been confirmed by several outlets, debunks previous reports that Amazon would spend $500 million for multiple seasons of the show. No, just one, the first.

“What I can tell you is Amazon is going to spend about [NZ]$650 million in season one alone,” Stuart Nash, New Zealand minister for economic development and tourism said. “This is fantastic, it really is … this will be the largest television series ever made.”

As that eye-popping figure confirms, Amazon is going all-in on the project, sending a clear message to Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+ that Prime Video is aiming for the lead in the contentious Streaming Wars. Collider adds that the $500 million check is for production alone. Amazon already spent $250 million just to acquire the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s world. Documents released as part of the New Zealand government’s Official Information Act confirm the studio’s plan to film up to five LoR seasons as well as a possible spinoff series in New Zealand.

Translation: while HBO spends the next decade sending viewers back to Westeros with Game of Thrones prequel(s), Amazon subscribers will be stuck in Middle Earth. (Viewers like me will share time in both.)

It’s unclear just how much cash HBO will spend expanding George R.R. Martin’s universe. Though HBO spent roughly $100 million per season on Game of Thrones, costs drastically increased over time with per-episode costs increasing from $6 million to $15 million over the course of eight seasons. For a hint, HBO recently signed Martin to a new five-year deal said to be in the mid-eight figures.

One also cannot spend $500 million quietly. Amazon’s spending will trigger a tax rebate of NZ$160 million ($114 million U.S). The Hollywood Reporter says that detail is already controversial in New Zealand as the government could end up on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars to help subsidize Amazon’s series.

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings is planning to debut later in the year. Expectations are not low.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.


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  1. This is going to be a disaster. They’re going to go woke on this, possibly full on, and rape the source material. The fact they’re modeling after Game of Thrones points towards it not being Tolkien in anything other than names and settings. Christ they hired an “intimacy coordinator” which means they’re planning sex scenes.

    • Yea their going to totally mash potato the hell out of this for sure, they dont give 2 flying Fs about Tolkien, and negative 2 Fs about his religion (((whispering: he was Catholic)))

  2. Everything must be woke now. Which of the main characters will they turn into the alphabet mafia??

    maybe Gandalf will decide to be tranz…
    maybe Frodo & Samwise will announce as non-binary…
    + there wasn’t a strong black lead so L.O.T. clearly has a lot to aPoloGizE for

  3. What’s the most ambitious show currently on or being planned by the four legacy networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX)? It’s amazing to me that they don’t seem worried about competing for eyeballs with higher-quality content.

  4. The story was already told in excellent fashion in the movies. We bonded with the actors playing the characters. I won’t take lightly to new actors playing Aragorn, Frodo, Sam or Pippin. Or Farmir. Or Legolas! Holy cow. This is a disaster in the making…

    • Yeah, these are by far my favorite movies. I don’t see any way to expand on the story without destroying it. I’m not sure if I could watch it without seeing the movies. I could barely watch the Hobbit trilogy and couldn’t get through the extended version 🙁

      • I’ve never seen the third installment of The Hobbit. I watched the first in the movie theatre, and have seen parts of the second on TV. It just didn’t capture the magic of LOTR. Although, I did quite enjoy any scene with Kili 🙂

  5. Orcs will be white males of course. As they ravage across the countryside, their snorts and howls will sound strangely like they are saying “MAGA”. Their leader will have orangeish skin and unruly hair.

    Treebeard will have his stump cut off and change genders mid-series.

    Saruman will be angry because Gandalf resisted his homosexual advances. Saruman’s tower will be a none-too-subtle giant cock and balls.

    Gimli will be a might-be-a-female trigglypuff. He and Legolas will share a forbidden kiss and erotically polish their swords across a very tense campfire.

    Sauron’s evil will be revealed to be a 0.1% raising of the Middle Earth atmospheric temperature.

    When in Rivendell for the Council of Elrond, Frodo will see Bilbo leaving a grotto after being a part of the nightly Elvish orgy, and will be grossed out by Bilbo’s vivid description of “immortal tail” and using the One Ring for nefarious purposes therein.

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